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Dog Poop Still a Problem on Trail, Resident Says

On Jan. 7, Lee Weidner told Hellertown Borough Council he'd like it to investigate an unsightly and unsanitary problem--excessive dog poop on a section of the Saucon Rail Trail.

Although he spent hours cleaning it up before the holidays, large mounds of dog poop have reappeared along a section of the Saucon Rail Trail near West Walnut Street in Hellertown, resident and avid trail-user Lee Weidner told Borough Council Jan. 7.

Weidner, who submitted a letter to the editor detailing the problem last month, called the canine feces "the worst kind of litter" and said he believes they're being deposited by a single animal.

"It is a large dog, because of the remnants," he said. "In this particular case, size matters."

Before Christmas, he estimated that he scooped about 40 pounds of "disgusting refuse" that were deposited over an area of about 800 square feet along the trail.

Weidner also commented that the piles of poop are most prevalent near two memorial rail trail benches that were paid for by private donors.

"The solution is to find out who’s walking his dog and not cleaning up," he said. "Hellertown Borough Council members need to investigate by doing some legwork."

With a custom-decorated metal scoop in hand, he added that council members should "talk to neighbors," since that section of the trail is adjacent to a densely populated area.

Council members then discussed the potential purchase of signs and/or dog waste bag dispensers and waste cans to be placed along the trail in the borough.

A motion made by councilwoman Gail Nolf to investigate the cost of those items was approved unanimously.

Jessica Schwickrath January 16, 2013 at 01:43 PM
A Furry Tail Come True now offers poop scoop services. If the boro wants to hire us to take care of the problem once or twice a week, contact me at jessica@afurrytailcometrue.com. im sure we can work out some type of deal.
Jessica Schwickrath January 16, 2013 at 01:46 PM
Actually, A Furry Tail Come True would like to sponsor those waste cans and bag dispensers and I will be speaking to counsil promptly.
Josh Popichak (Editor) January 16, 2013 at 03:00 PM
That's fantastic. Thanks Jessica!
Mom to 3 January 16, 2013 at 03:55 PM
As much as I hate to say this it doesn't matter if they put up signs and poop bag stations. People are still going to be lazy and act like they are above cleaning up after their animals.
Joie Gates January 16, 2013 at 03:58 PM
When the Saucon Rail Trail was opened I was simply thrilled! Seeing families, couples and children enjoying the outdoors, either walking or on bicycles, enhanced my own living in town. During that first summer I noticed that not every dog walker was a "dog dirt" picker upper. Now if you own a dog, and take it off your property on a leash, there is a good chance it is going to "go" while your walking together. So what's up with so many people without bags to clean up after thier dear dog "Max"? It's called "lazy". They have bags they can bring along with them from home. But choose not to bring them. Over and over and over again. Bet they think one pile of poop won't matter..but it does matter. Over the past several months I've been shocked, and disgusted, by the amount of dog poop on the edges of the Trail. And the very noticable sections of the where it is the "thickest". I agree that at least one area is a one dog dumping ground. Who owns that dog? Find them! And Fine them! Please! The trail, in sections, is becoming a pet waste sewer and that is a true shame. Sad to say, but we don't use the Rail Trail like we used to because of it.
charles hampton January 16, 2013 at 05:02 PM
I too, see one area in particular with a huge amount of dog poop. I suspect that it is one or two adjacent homeowners who just lets his/her dog out the back door, and has no intention of cleaning it up.
David Appolloni January 16, 2013 at 05:48 PM
I have also noticed the large amount of poop at the end of the trail that begins at Water Street Park and goes towards Bethlehem. I was walking it one day before Christmas and a man was walking 3 dogs and never bothered to pick up what they left. He did look around to see if anyone was looking but could care less I saw it. Who's going to challenge him with 3 big dogs. I also noticed the poop described and thought maybe someone was walking a horse. I walk my dog along the trail as well and always pick up after her. The trail is littered with dog feces from begining to end of of Lower Saucon. I like that Upper Saucon has put up a stand with bags and cans. Instead of sponsoring a bench how about a Poop Station.
Dede nj January 16, 2013 at 06:02 PM
Wouldn't it be nice if this turned out to be Ruby! Read about her on Facebook: Ruby the Lost Greyhound They are looking for volunteers to help search for her this Saturday. Read about
Eric Harding January 16, 2013 at 06:02 PM
Could this be Ruby? Ruby is a Greyhound that has been missing for a couple of months and has been spotted in this area regularly. Keep your eyes peeled for her. If she is creating the waste that is spotted on the trail this is a good sign for her family. I know it upsets some of you, but something positive could come from this!
Dog Mom January 16, 2013 at 06:12 PM
It only takes a few inconsiderate dog owners to ruin things for everyone. Its a shame. A few well placed trail cameras and a few well placed fines for those inconsiderate people would be a good idea.
charles hampton January 16, 2013 at 06:15 PM
Eric and Dede, I have been following the Ruby story for some time, as I did the story of a lost 14 yr old blind, and deaf Springer spaniel in Maine last summer, who was reportedly seen "Many times" over the course of thee or four months. In all likelihood, Ruby is long perished, and is definitely NOT the source of the mess in question.
Dede nj January 16, 2013 at 06:15 PM
So true Eric! Maybe someone that walks that trail can monitor it and let Ruby's Facebook page be notified when fresh snow falls if they see human prints with the dog poop/ prints. Again, come out Saturday and help this sweet dog get back home.
Eric Harding January 16, 2013 at 06:18 PM
Thanks for your vote of confidence Charles. But until a body is found Ruby is assumed alive. I am glad, though, that you can say for certain. What company makes your crystal ball? I will have to pick one of those up.
charles hampton January 16, 2013 at 06:29 PM
Eric, my point was not snide. I did say it was a "likelihood", and as much time as I spend on the trail, and township roads, I always have my eyes out for Ruby!
Dede nj January 16, 2013 at 06:30 PM
Charles, And what about all the stories of dogs that have survived? I have had 2 Greyhounds and I know it may be harder for them to survive this weather but I choose to believe the sightings and have faith in her returning home.
Dede nj January 16, 2013 at 06:38 PM
Charles, glad you are looking for her as you travel the area :)
Dog Mom January 16, 2013 at 06:57 PM
Charles, I understand your point of view. But you don't know greyhound people very well. We are tenacious and determined. There have been other greyhounds that have survived more than a year lost in the elements and have ultimately come home alive.
Lori McKeown January 16, 2013 at 07:34 PM
OMG this could seriously be Ruby !!! How awesome that would be ! As far as the dog poop that owners don't pick up, that will never change , there will always be lazy inconsiderate people , accept it ! Life could be worse !!
Josh Popichak (Editor) January 16, 2013 at 07:49 PM
Thanks to everyone for picking up on the possible "Ruby" connection to this story. I shared the link and posed that question on the Ruby the Lost Greyhound Facebook page, and my understanding is that they're going to be investigating in the area of the poop. In the meantime, please continue to keep an eye out for her on the rail trail and in that general vicinity. It's supposed to turn much colder Sunday-Monday, so if she is still out there it would be great if she could be rescued before then.
Arthur Joel Katz January 16, 2013 at 08:18 PM
Charles: Although we live at the Old Mill Crossing of the trail in Lower Saucon and Susan walks our dog on the trail quite often, I assure you and all others that she carries poop bags and uses them as required.
Jessica Schwickrath January 16, 2013 at 11:39 PM
That would be great if it were Ruby, I believe she is still in the area. With that being said, I doubt Ruby goes out of her way to take a poop on the rail trail so many times that it's causing a problem lol. She has acres upon acres to leave her mark, I doubt she runs back to the trail each time lol. Unfortunately it takes a wee bit of effort for people to remember bags number one, and it also takes a wee bit of effort for people to pick up after their dog, and it's just easier to leave it if no one is looking. It's gross and unwanted, but that is what's happening. Many of us do pick up, but many still do not. Hopefully by adding waste bags and cans, more people will take the initiative to pick up and throw away their dog's waste.
Search for Sasquatch January 17, 2013 at 01:17 AM
Wow 40 pounds I hear Sasquatch is still at large!
charles hampton January 17, 2013 at 01:25 AM
and I have "featured" the appeal on the SRT facebook page.
Dog Mom January 17, 2013 at 06:01 PM
Jessica, you are being too nice. Yes, its a wee effort to bring poop bags. But a real and considerate human being would find it to be little effort. A real dog person has bags stashed in their car or their pockets at all times. I will admit that I have forgotten bags on certain occasions. In those cases I made sure that I went to get a bag and returned to the scene of the crime to pick up my dog's mess. There isn't anything that will ruin a pleasant walk on a nice day more than stepping in dog poop along the way or having to navigate that kind of mine field. I refuse to be part of the problem!
Kathy Milander January 17, 2013 at 06:12 PM
That would be great to hire someone. The only downfall is the person not cleaning up will just move on to somewhere else. They need to be responsible!!
Eric Harding January 17, 2013 at 07:37 PM
I have a bag holder attached to the leashes of my pups... that way I NEVER forget them!
T. South January 17, 2013 at 07:41 PM
I live in California but run a facebook page for our local dog park. Recently linked up to a Lehigh Valley pet organization and came across Ruby's story. I was touched to hear how much effort is going into looking for her. I am from Pa originally & have family in Lehigh ; love that place. Want to say in Calif, they prosecute people for not picking up dog waste. Big fines, I think it helps but there will always be lazy or thoughtless people. I don't know what your laws are regarding this but you might want to find out & try to get some , if not in place. I have a holder which carries the bags, on the leash. Very common & easy to do. And dogs will want to "go" where the other dogs went , so I am not surprised to read it is in the same area.

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